Pet Proof Your Space with an Outdoor Rug

St. Tropez outdoor rug for pet owners

Outdoor rugs are great for pets!

Pet owners rejoice! If your beloved best friend has a habit of soiling rugs, we’re here to the rescue! This was the dilemma for one of our Assistant Buyers for Dining & Kitchen, Maryanna.

What’s a girl to do when her precious Yorkie, Bonaparte (nicknamed “B”), has accidents while she’s away at work?

“I love the look of natural fiber rugs because they look great against any color sofa, and I tend to recover my sofa every few years. I like the way it is neutral and doesn’t weigh down a room. However, my dog was constantly attracted to the natural smell of it and was always having accidents under my coffee table,” said Maryanna.  “After 2 years there were permanent stains all over it, and no way to hide them or get them out.”

St. Tropez outdoor rug is great for pets

Our Ballard Designs rug buyer, Page, stepped in and recommended the St. Tropez Indoor/Outdoor Rug. This super durable rug has that natural fiber look that Maryanna loves, but will stand up to stains and any other “oops!” moments that may occur.

St. Tropez outdoor sisal rug

We let Maryanna try out the St. Tropez rug for a few months and report back!

“As a replacement for my previous natural fiber rug, I love that it has that same neutral look and blends with all of my furniture. To me, this rug actually feels better on my feet than my old one did and is much easier to vacuum since it does not have a raised texture. The two tone stripe texture is classic and gives it a little depth”, says Maryanna.

Those embarrassing stains that were once underneath her coffee table are a thing of the past since replacing her natural fiber with an indoor/outdoor look-alike. Even after a few months of use and some accidents, it still looks like new.

St. Tropez outdoor rug for pet owners

“B has had a few accidents, but nowhere near as many as she did on the natural fiber rug. I did a test to see what would happen if I let a stain sit there, and it disappeared within a day and there was no lingering smell. Also, I used oxyclean to get out a rust stain that appeared from my metal coffee table, and it came out within minutes! Page also mentioned that you can actually bleach the rug without damaging the color, so it’s great to know that that’s an option.”

St. Tropez outdoor rug for pet owners

There’s a solution to almost every decorating predicament, and we’re thrilled Maryanna was able to solve hers by making a quick swap. So, for pet owners everywhere, rugs are not a lost cause! Opt for an outdoor rug to make cleanup much easier. Whether you like something graphic, classic, or natural fiber, there are indoor/outdoor rugs that have a similar look but with added durability.

Browse outdoor rugs, or visit our Photo Gallery for more decor inspiration!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Todd Berenger

    July 17, 2017

    My problem is with my Pug chewing rugs.. He chews corners to a fringe. Is there a nice looking outdoor rug that would look nice in the house that is durable and inexpensive?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      August 21, 2018

      Have you tried the spray that discourages animals from chewing? I’ve had luck with that!
      Also, here are all of our outdoor rugs. I’m certain you’ll be able to find something you like among these!
      Good luck.

  2. Reply


    May 15, 2016

    Can you use this on top of hardwood floors. does the urine still stain the floor. I am desperate my husband says find something our the fur babies go.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      May 16, 2016

      I’d suggest using an outdoor rug and a outdoor rug pad. Of course with any stain, sop up the liquid as soon as possible!
      Best of luck,
      The How to Decorate Team

  3. Reply

    Deborah Williams

    July 15, 2014

    Thanks for the great idea–I never thought about using the outdoor rugs for pet areas. I have an “oops” spot as well and will keep these in mind for rug choices.

  4. Reply

    Joanne B.

    July 9, 2014

    AMEN! That’s all I have to say for Ballard’s Indoor/Outdoor rugs! I bought one about 4 years ago- a runner- for my laundry ‘room’- which is really just a hallway between our garage entrance into the house and our kitchen. In addition to being a major thoroughfare (we hardly even use our front door to go in/out), I house our pets necessaries in there as well. I have a Golden Retriever who does not have lips- I am joking- but you would think she does not after she drinks from her water bowl in there! Also, our cat’s litter box is in there as well. I cannot tell you the abuse this runner has taken over the years! Between my husband trekking in grease and grime from the outdoors, the dog’s drips and the cat’s scratching the rug every morning, this rug has held up fabulously! A few years ago, when it was starting to look a little shabby and I thought it was a goner, I decided to try to wash it in my washing machine! I stuffed it in my front loader and as it washed in there, I browsed through the Ballard catalog for a replacement in case my idea was a bomb. To my surprise, the runner came out clean as a whistle and, despite the wrinkles which smoothed out in a day or so, it looked brand new! I slung it over a few patio chairs outside and it dried in an hour. This thing just will not die! I want to treat myself to a new design- mine now is an over all scroll pattern with a border- and I would love to go more a more ‘sisal’ look, just to give the room a new look, but I am hesitant to mess with something that already works so well for me! I cannot sing the praises of Ballard’s indoor/outdoor rugs for pet use! Amen and Hallelujah!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 10, 2014

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re so happy to hear that the rug has held up well for you!! They really are great for high-traffic areas. We’re sure it looks fabulous in your space.

      The How to Decorate Team